Used for centuries to create anything from belt buckles to musical instruments and jewelry, brass is manufactured by combining various amounts of copper and zinc. The final color of a brass belt buckle is determined by the percentage of zinc and copper before a finish is applied, which is either polished, hand-rubbed or antiqued. Although durable, brass is susceptible to fine scuffs and minor scratches, which can be removed at home with a few basic ingredients.
Create a mixture of 1 tablespoon of salt and 1/2 cup of white vinegar in a small bowl. Stir the mixture and add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Squeeze juice straight from a lemon, or if more convenient, choose pure lemon juice from the market. Do not use a product containing preservatives or sugar.
Stir the ingredients and add 1/2 cup of unbleached flour. Continue to add flour and stir until a paste consistency is achieved.
Dip a soft-bristled toothbrush into the paste. Work the abrasive paste into the brass belt buckle, which has been removed from the belt, using overlapping circles. The mixture will remove any minor scuffs and restore the buckle's shine. Submerge the belt buckle in a sink or basin filled with cool water and wipe off the paste with a washcloth while it is still underwater.
Lift the belt buckle from the water and examine the surface. If it is still scuffed, repeat the process until the buckle emerges from the water scuff-free. Rinse off the paste and dry the belt buckle with a soft washcloth. Reattach the belt buckle and wear as desired.
- If the scuffs aren't eliminated with this method, consider taking the buckle to a professional to have the piece cleaned and restored.
- If your buckle is covered with a clear coating known as lacquer, do not attempt to clean it using this method. Consult a professional.
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